Archive | May, 2014

Weekly Vinyl – Renaissance

31 May

 

Novella
Renaissance
(1977)
SONY DSC
This is progressive rock royalty. Anybody who listened to progressive rock listened to Renaissance. The voice, Annie Haslam’s voice, was so distinctive and gorgeous that it was hard to dislike.
The music was a mix of classical and folk motives covered with a
soupçon of rock. Not too much roll though. This is music to sit to. To contemplate with. To drift off into a peaceful slumber. Like a rolling brook carrying water from a springtime shower the sound is entirely pleasant and mesmerizing.
I try to imagine different singers singing this material and I could only come up with one that would probably do this music justice – Kate Bush. That being said I would have loved to hear Janice Joplin sing some of these tunes. Or Nina Hagen. Or Beth Gibbons from Portishead. Or even having Courtney Love screech these ballads out.
The latter singer would probably be great for the song Midas Man. This is my favourite song on the album – but not because it has lyrics about King Midas and his lust for gold. When I first heard this song a muffler shop called Midas Mufflers was advertising quite heavily and I thought the juxtaposition was wonderful.

 

Weekly Wine – Montalto Nero

28 May

SONY DSCMontalto Nero D’Avola Cabaret Sauvignon
2012
Italy
750ml
14% ABV
$8.95(LCBO)

I wasn’t really expecting much here. An inexpensive wine from Italy. Sicily to be exact. It had a high alcohol content, so I figured that this wine was potent and putrid.
I was also rather exhausted as I opened this wine. I was hopeful but despondent. I felt like having a drink but was unsure if it would raise my mood.
Surprise.
This wine is all right. A bit sour. The dryness is a bit pronounced. But the flavours are pleasant. I take several more sips trying to find something negative to latch on to. But I can’t.
Perhaps the alcohol is affecting me? It is just my second glass so that can’t be it.
As I float my way down to the inside of this bottle, some of the true character emerges. It sits heavy on the palate. Not just the palate but the whole mouth. It is not so bad as unrefined. It mentions on the label that it was aged in oak barrels (French and American) for three months and this I guess is this wines quandary.
It has the makings of a great wine but is just not quite there.
A a nine buck wine it is wonderful.

 

Voting

27 May

Voting is a funny thing.
It is the basis of democracy – stating yea or nay on an issue, candidate or proposition.
It is fascinating that so many people in prosperous and stable democratic countries take this basic act for granted and do not fulfil this right and privalege. It is not a duty – it is a privalege if you honesgrly think about it.
My heart’s homeland Ukraine just had an election. They are in a state of invasion. A foreign power has annexed a large swath on the country and is funding/provocating well armed insurectiuon in the country.
And yet…
In spite of ballots being burnt by the Putin backed thugs.
In spite of ballot boxes being smashed by the Putin backed thugs.
In spite of heavily armed Putin backed thugs intimidating local polling stations.
In spite of lies propagated by Putin’s media lakeys.
In spite of an electorate that has seen political and corporate lies and corruptions that cannot be imagined by most in the “west”.
About 60 per cent (60%) of the population came out to vote.
That’s better than the EU votes that happened the same day.
That’s better than any US turnout in living memory.
That’s better than most Canadian elections.
That will probably be a better turn out that these elections that we will have in Ontario in June.

And I ordered signs from each of the three parties contesting the election.
I got a big sign from one and a small one from another.
A third party has not come through in one week. Do they really want my vote?
No one is invading Ontario.
And I am worried that a party has not given me a sign.
Bastards…

Awry Pole

25 May

SONY DSC
I know that this is not a pole. It is a column. But awry column sounds odd.
Much like this column that I spotted at a rest stop on Ontario’s Hwy 401 just outside of London Ontario.
This was not the way it was designed as  all the other columns don’t have this kink.
I suppose that it’s structurally sound…

Weekly Vinyl – Trio

23 May

Trio and Error
Trio
(1983)
SONY DSC

Most people know the German minimalist band Trio from their big hit DaDaDa.
That song is on this album.
Second song on the B side.
It is a good song. Catchy. It stands out in the album. This is probably due to the familiarity of the song. The song is not definitive of the album.
This album is a minimalist post punk wet dream.
It is just guitar, vocal and drums. On occasion a cheesy keyboard cuts in for diversion and amusement.
The words are simple – a cross of 50s rock and Ian Dury perhaps. The German lyrics might be more complex, I don’t understand them, But I don’t think so.

Trying to pick my favourite song to wax poetic is difficult. It’s a cliché to say that every song here is a hit, especially since DaDaDa is on the album. It is a weird comparison to make but this album is kind of like a Peter Gabriel album. One or two hits but each piece of music is so solid it is scary.
Trio is a band that was overshadowed by its one huge mega-hit. A shame … and a blessing.

Weekly Wine – Piat D’or

21 May

SONY DSCPiat D’or Merlot
2012
France
750ml
13% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This wine was, and is, a standard cheap, inexpensive, plonk. It is a rudimentary wine that does not offend. It does not really entice love, admiration, respect or praise either.
It is a wine.
I am finding it difficult to describe this wine. It is late. I am tired.
This wine is remarkable for being unremarkable.
There are no sour notes in this wine.
There are no notable features in this wine.
This is a wine I would recommend to someone who has never had wine before. It has a wine-grape flavour without any complexities.
There are no harsh flavours. There is no unpleasant after taste.
It is a wine.
It is French.
The only drawback of this wine is that many people have bought and drank this wine. They know it and know the price. So serving it might get some odd looks from some people.
It is best not to invite these people as this wine is good.
Unremarkable.

But good.

 

Pinstripe

18 May

Pin1

Pinstripes make a car look cool. Fast. Dangerous.
These?
I’m at a loss for words.
I do want a variation on the theme. Big panels of these faux-embroidery to slather my car in. Kinda like the old woody vehicles of days gone past.
This would make my car look strange. Unbalanced.
It would hide the rust and scratches.